I started my poetry Instagram page to spite someone who made fun of my art. Not the purest reason, I know. But it got me to take an important step: sharing my work. Putting your art out for others to see is challenging for anyone, whether you’re a visual, musical, or performance artist, or a poet like myself. How are people going to respond? It can be anxiety-inducing to think about letting strangers on the internet consume something you put your heart and soul into, and in so doing, relinquishing all control as to how its interpreted.
But here’s the thing: if you ever want to publish, you’ll have to get used to that.
Though I was nervous about how my poetry would be received, I was met with overwhelming positivity and support. I’m not a super emotionally expressive person in real life, but I almost cried when one person told me that they and their S.O. read and discuss my poems together. I’ve realized that people actually enjoy reading what I write—yes, even complete strangers on the internet—and that I should keep going.
And not only was making a poetry Insta a way for me to share my work with others, but it has become a major creative outlet, something especially valuable during lockdown. All cooped up in quarantine, there wasn’t much else to do but watch Netflix, do schoolwork, and create stuff. My account became a reason to consistently produce art and a visual way for me to see my progress.
Plus, as I hinted at before, making an art Insta is also a practical idea if you ever plan on publishing your work. These days, social media is the chief place to build an audience. If you start getting an audience now, then when the time comes that you want to produce a collection or place your art in an exhibit or get your EP on Spotify, you’ll already have people who are interested in what you do, even if just a few.
And if none of these reasons convince you to make your own art account, then ask yourself one more question: why not? I guarantee someone out there will enjoy what you’re creating. Whether it’s poetry or art or photography or music, someone’s going to be excited to see what it is that you do next.
If you’re interested, check out my account @hannahrose_poetry.